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Community schools

Thanks to funding from New York State, four City School District of Albany schools will be transformed into community schools – neighborhood hubs that will provide services to students and families during and beyond the regular school day.

    

The four schools – the Alternative Learning Center, Arbor Hill Elementary School, Giffen Memorial Elementary School and Sheridan Preparatory Academy – will open in September as community schools.

      

Community-school funding allows schools to either provide certain services directly or partner with a community organization to provide the services.  Those services could include:

  • Before- and after-school programs;

  • More intensive health, mental health and social services for children; and

  • Mental health, social, legal, career, English-language, parenting and adult educational services for parents or guardians.

The district received $2.7 million in 2016-17 to jump-start community schools.

 

A portion of those funds will go toward hiring site coordinators at each school that will survey families and staff to determine additional services they would like to see in their schools. Once those services are identified, site coordinators will be responsible for identifying resources in the community that could bring the services to students and families.

 

The goal is to have a site coordinator in place at each community school before the end of March.

Once site coordinators are hired, each will conduct a needs assessment for his or her school that will include a parent survey of services they would like to see in the community school.

In addition, the site coordinator at each school will work with his or her principal to parents, community partners and school staff to serve on a Community School Advisory Board. Each advisory board will monitor the extra services to be provided by the school. The goal is to have each school's advisory board up and running by April.

 

Research shows that students in community schools have more positive attitudes about school and do better academically than their peers in regular neighborhood schools. Community school parents also were more involved and invested in their children’s education.

 

 

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